cachaça in the caipirinha

20170502_091350Last week’s Brazilian Rice could only be followed by a Brazilian cocktail, am I right? And what better drink than a caipirinha? (Repeat after me: kype’-ah-reen-ya.)

As a Midwesterner, I was unaware of this lovely drink until five or so years ago when a friend whipped one up for me at a party. He spoke of his time as a foreign exchange student in Brazil and learning there about cachaça. I was enamored by the drink’s simplicity (spirit + lime + sugar), but with the spirit as obscure as cachaça, didn’t see myself making it often. I enjoyed my caipirinha and moved on.

Then came the 2016 Summer Olympics and Brazil was everywhere. When I heard caipirinha mentioned on a post-game television feature, I paid attention.

Considered Brazil’s national cocktail, the caipirinha is made with the aforementioned cachaça, a Brazilian sugar cane brandy. It’s similar to rum, though rum is made from molasses and aged longer so can be the stronger of the two both in flavor and alcohol content.

Cachaça isn’t so very hard to find now and with it on the shelf, a caipirinha is easy to make.


muddle muddle

And refreshing. And delicious. Perfect for warm weather, a caipirinha screams “woohoo!” It’s light, slightly fruity, somewhat sweet, and has a kick. If drinks had personalities, this one would be the life of the party.

20170502_091552Whether this is a good accompaniment for our Brazilian Rice, I can’t say. First impulse is to say no, but there’s also argument that the rice is a mild, if somewhat salty dish and a sip of caipirinha between bites might level the playing field again. Maybe not such an odd combination after all.20170410_152409

You be the judge. Invest in a bottle of cachaça (if you buy on the lower end, it’s not too terribly spendy) and you can whip up your own Brazilian cocktail at moment’s notice. If you live in a place where cold winters are out and warmer springs 20170502_091552will soon enough lead to hot summers, this would be a good drink to have in your repertoire.

There are plenty of caipirinha recipes to be found online. They differ slightly in amounts of sugar and spirit, though half a lime seemed to be standard. White sugar was most commonly used, though I did see a recipe using brown. I’d imagine agave syrup would be a tasty sweetener to use as well. Here’s what I did:


  • 1/2 lime, cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 2 ounces cachaça

In glass, muddle lime and sugar. Add ice, then cachaça. Stir and enjoy.20170502_091617Should I be able to keep to a weekly schedule, you’re welcome back next week to look up another of Great-aunt Helen’s recipes. If it takes longer to return, you’re welcome then as well. Just mix up another caipirinha while you wait. Thank you for being here!

14 thoughts on “cachaça in the caipirinha

    • Thank you, Suzanne 🙂 It’s well worth buying a bottle of cachaca to be able to make this lovely and refreshing cocktail! Appreciate you being here.

  1. I broke my jaw, trying to say this title out loud. Small world because I was reading “Honeymoon with My Brother” in the tub hier soir and he said something along the lines of going into a dive bar where the words “mojito” and “caipirinha” would scare the bartender. I was all, what is a caipirinha? I was saying it like “capers” but you have schooled me that it is like “type.” I am clearly not staying on top of trends, and now you have made me feel very assisted living. P.S. like how your monster hands look like you are stirring into a thimble. Cheers to fresh lime!

    • As always, you crack me up. Are you calling me a monster? Bah. A thimble’s worth of caipirinha would be too little. Capereenya youbetcha. Though I thought it was “cup-reen-ya” before doing my google search for the post. Always learning. Cheers to fresh lime indeed!

  2. They are refreshing–and I haven’t had one in a very long time! Your post is a good reminder–now, if we would just get warm enough weather to warrant such a drink!

    • Hasn’t warmed up for you yet, Kerry? We’re going for high-70s tomorrow (which is unseasonably warm), so you’d better catch up 😉 Thanks for coming by!!!

  3. Hi Liz-Thanks for your notes. Loves these drinks! I was fortunate enough to be in Brazil several years back on the Rio Negro and have these amazing drinks made by true natives. Check out my flashback blog about it. Heaven…


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